Radhika Rajamani reviews the Telugu movie, Jai Bolo Telengana. Post YOUR reviews here!
The Telangana problem, a burning issue in Andhra Pradesh, is now depicted on celluloid, thanks to director N Shankar.
Shankar views it essentially from the people's point of view in Jai Bolo Telengana. Into the political backdrop, he adds a love story mainly to strike a chord with the audience. The movie merely chronicles on screen the significant points of the movement with the love story in the foreground. It espouses the cause of the new state.
The film opens with Bandagi Gopanna (Jagapathi Babu), a revolutionary character who is the third generation after his father and grandfather espousing the cause of Telangana for the betterment of people's lives. In fact he powerfully stirs up the emotions of the people to champion his cause. But like his father and grandfather, he too dies a martyr.
His son Varshit is initially not interested though his wife Jayamma (Smriti Irani) and a few others try to keep the torch alive. Jayamma is quite a pious soul who feeds people who come to her house. Varshit, a student, falls in love with Sahaja. But there is another notorious boy Chanti from a political family who wants to marry her as Sahaja's brother strikes a deal with Chanti to give his sister in marriage to him. The love track between Varshit and Sahaja blossoms till Varshit takes cognizance of the sacrifice his father made for Telangana and joins the movement.
While Varshit is from Telangana, Sahaja is from Andhra -- another reason for her parents not agreeing to the match. The momentum for Telangana movement increases with the self-immolation of Varshit's friend Chari (analogy with Srikanth Chari's incident). After that the film takes the routine path to the climax.
Shankar's zeal is to be admired in making a film like this. Nothing but passion can drive such a project. In this project he has K Chandrasekhar Rao (Telangana Rashtra Samiti leader) and Gaddar (ballad singer) making cameos. He has also got others like Vedakumar M (who is part of Forum for Better Hyderabad) and Rama Melkote (an academician) to act.
Shankar could have taken a holistic view of the problem and presented it rather than presenting just capsules of the old struggle (1948, 1969, 1998) and just touching upon issues like unemployment, poverty, starvation, suicide etc in the passing.
There's no proper analysis of the political processes and the delving into the roots of the problem. So in a way, the film seems lopsided and shows nothing new. It merely projects what one has read in the newspapers or seen on TV before. At times it's too loud and 'jingoistic'. As usual people from Andhra are not spoken off highly and nor are the police.
Jagapathi Babu displays the required patriotic fervour for portraying Gopanna's character. He is good at showing the aggression and the emotional displeasure in some parts. On the whole, he is convincing as Gopanna. He's taken a risk to portray the character and should be complimented for it. Smriti suits her role. The young pair (Varshit and Sahaja) are also okay.
The Jai Bolo Telangana song is quite inspiring and so is Gaddar's song.
On the whole, the film is a straightforward depiction of the Telangana statehood issue and presents a uni-dimensional picture of proceedings. It may touch a chord with those sympathetic with the issue and may attract only the supporters of the cause to the theatres.